The word Value kept coming to me after Michael died. That he had valued me, why did I not value myself? Not only didn’t I value myself, I hated myself and I never fucking knew it. All those years in the program. I had worked the steps, worked with sponsors and psychologists, still I didn’t know that I hated myself. During those years in AA I would think to myself that I had a blind spot. That life in one way or another would always seem to get fucked up. They called it “Whack a Mole” in the program, get one thing under control shit fucks up somewhere else. For me it was losing jobs, my behavior, my weight, money and relationship problems. Basically I had issues with literally everything else without using. I knew it was me but I couldn’t fix it, even with help. Selfish and self centered , afraid we are not going to get what we want, that’s the programs explanation. I’ve come to understand it as a manifestation, not the problem. I believe self hatred is the problem. How do you treat something you love and value? How do you treat yourself? These questions were of vital importance to me.
I came across Peg Streep’s book Daughter Detox, Recovering from an Unloving Mother . A wonderful book that really helped me, thank you Ms. Streep. Even though the book clearly depicted me as the scapegoated child of a narcissistic mother, it wasn’t until after my mother died almost 2 years after Mike that I began to see myself and my family in a whole new light. At first I really couldn’t believe it even though it was plain to see. All the horror stories that were told of me and my bad behavior growing up I began to see differently; as a smart,sensitive, strong and creative child rebelling against the unacceptable conditions of her life, not the bad fucking seed. It’s as if I had grown up in a world turned upside down my whole life and it was finally starting to right itself. I had believed everything my mother told me for 56 years. That I was broken, defective since I was born, too sensitive, too serious and too big. Too everything. It became a self fulfilling prophecy.
In the summer of 2018 I joined a club with a pool to use in the summer. I love the water, I always have, love to swim. Michael had been dead almost two years and my mother had died that past April. At home I had been doing healing visual work with Allan Watts videos, healing meditations, writing and reading. I was still working with my therapist, going to work, meetings, using my vape.
I need to interject for a moment, because this has direct relevance to the rest of the story. The night Michael died I saw him in a dream. He was so radiant I barely recognized him. I never forgot the dream or how he looked in it. Radiant, golden with his head back and arms raised like Rocky, an amazing brilliance emanating from him. When I did healing meditations I would visualize this light I had seen emanating from Michael, coming out of me and healing me. So,
I’d gotten myself a raft, some waterproof earbuds and I was ready to float and do some visual healing while listening to Portugal the Man. It’s July 7, 2018 just 2 days before my 56 Birthday. I’m floating in the pool, eyes closed and I’m envisioning laying there holding Michael’s hand with this light coming out of me healing me.
My eyes are closed , then slowly as if a veil is being pulled aside from my left eye, I see the most amazing light; not with my eyes but in my minds eye. It is more radiant than the light I had seen in the dream with Michael. It is the love I feel for my son a million times over. It looks like liquid golden light, radiating, pulsing alive. I feel the most beautiful love emanating from this Light, it is beyond words and any human experience I have ever had. Ecstasy and rapture are the closest words I can get to describe this. Words cannot adequately describe this experience.
I am no longer aware of being on the raft but am in and out of my body somehow. Even though no words are spoken I hear, but not with my ears, “There had never been anything wrong with me, that it was because of my parents that I had come to feel those ways about myself and that I’d always been loved and perfect as I was . Would I consider sticking around to help other people?” Then one word almost feeling and hearing it with my whole body, seemed to come out of my abdomen and chest and around me….”Opposites”. I open my eyes, looking at the clouds realizing that everything is connected. I feel this incredible energy, like white noise, static, as if I have been living in the middle of a cyclone for my whole life shut down, and it is quiet. I feel quieter than I can ever remember feeling before. Like an incredible wind I wasn’t aware of had been blowing my whole life and it finally stopped.
Then I come to, like coming out of a trance and I hear a boy saying “Leaky Pipe, Leaky Pipe” as he slaps his noodle back and forth on top of the water. He’s the only one in the pool now as I get out of the water to find his mother. After the experience I’ve just had this only kid in the pool with his noodle that he’s slapping back and forth saying leaky pipe, seems like it’s meant for me. I find his mother on the other side of the pool and say;
“Hey, my kids are grown up but I’m wondering the leaky pipe, leaky pipe thing is it a game, a show?” She says no, her son is Autistic and they are trying to teach him to make the right connections.
The right connections. I understand at that moment and through the next year or so that I have always had the capacity to make connections others generally don’t, to solve problems in new and unique ways. (to be continued)